Summer programs at USF St. Petersburg transition to online format

This year’s STEM robotics camp is led by Dr. Sandra Vernon-Jackson, the director of USF St. Petersburg’s STEM INQ lab.

ST. PETERSBURG — The Coronavirus outbreak may have disrupted plans to hold on-campus programs at USF St. Petersburg this summer, but the university will continue to offer fun and informative events as virtual experiences.

The first event is a virtual STEM robotics camp, open to rising fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, which will be held June 15-26.

This is the third year USF St. Petersburg has held a STEM robotics camp, which was created to inspire young students while promoting critical thinking and problem solving through diverse activities in computer science, engineering, robotics and applied math.

The camp is led by Dr. Sandra Vernon-Jackson, the director of USF St. Petersburg’s STEM INQ lab, who was named 2019 STEM Woman of the Year by Girls Inc. Pinellas.

Campers will work virtually with faculty from USF St. Petersburg and Microsoft experts to create video games, code a robot and even learn how to build a business. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to meet with experts from STEM-related professions in a career exploration session.

Cost is $100. Scholarship opportunities are available. Please contact for more information. Participants must have a computer with a reliable internet connection and a dedicated space with minimal disruption. To learn more or to register, visit

The second event is called Discover Your PATHe, and is designed to teach rising juniors and seniors from Pinellas County and their families about successfully navigating the complex journey to post-secondary education. The free event will be held Aug. 1-7.

Discover Your PATHe is an outgrowth of Pinellas Access to Higher Education (PATHe), a community outreach program offered by USF St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg College that provides equitable and attainable pathways to higher education for all students in Pinellas County.

All of the online sessions will be held via Microsoft Teams.

A session for parents and guardians will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1. It will cover a variety of topics, including:

  • The college admissions processes
  • Navigating financial aid
  • Helping your student become college-ready

Student workshops will be held throughout the week. Sessions will include:

  • Choosing a college
  • High school vs. college
  • SAT and ACT testing strategies
  • Money matters
  • A panel discussion with college students

By the end of the event, students will better understand college admissions, develop a plan for how to apply, identify key test strategies to use on admissions tests and practice principles of time management. Students will also get an opportunity to establish connections with other students from local high schools, USF St. Petersburg and SPC.

Details and complete registration information are available at

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